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Best Start Ever: Marquette 18, Youngstown State 11

The Golden Eagles are 2-0 for the first time in program history and 1-0 on the road for the first time in program history.

Mary Schumar
Mary Schumar’s five assists led the Golden Eagles against Youngstown State
Marquette University

Marquette women’s lacrosse busted open the floodgates early against Youngstown State on Saturday afternoon, and as a result, the Golden Eagles were able to coast to an 18-11 victory on the road. It’s Marquette’s first ever victory in a road opener in program history, and because they won their season opener against San Diego State back on Sunday, MU is also 2-0 for the first time in program history.

I’m not kidding about that “busted open early” thing. After MU induced a turnover by the Penguins on the first possession of the game, Lydia Foust cashed in the first shot of the game for the first goal of the game, and that was less than 90 seconds in. Goal #2 came from Tess Osburn on Marquette’s third shot of the game, and Emma Soccodato scored on Marquette’s fourth shot to make it 3-0 in just a shade over three minutes played.

Marquette’s fifth shot of the game was a free position attempt from Hanna Bodner, and that found the back of the net. Same for Marquette’s seventh shot, with that swing from Shea Garcia putting the Golden Eagles up 5-1 just over 10 minutes in. That would be MU’s final goal of the first quarter, and after they led 5-2 after 15 minutes, things really got going in the second quarter.

The first shot from the Golden Eagles in the second period found its way into the net, and with Meg Bireley providing the action, that gave Marquette six goals with six different women scoring. Mary Schumar’s goal at the 7:25 mark made it seven-for-seven in that department, and weirdly, it would be Schumar to break the run when she scored Marquette’s eighth goal of the game just over two minutes later.

Isabelle Casucci’s first career goal hit the high water mark for the half, an eight goal lead, when she scored with the extra woman advantage off a pass from Hannah Greving with 1:29 left before intermission, and Bireley quickly answered a YSU goal to make it 11-3 Marquette after 30 minutes was done and gone.

That was a 6-1 quarter for the Golden Eagles, and it was kind of on the inefficient side as it took them 19 shots to get there. That left Marquette up 28-14 on shots at halftime, and a lot of that was because Youngstown State had committed 15 turnovers in the first half, partially on six failed clearances. While they did only have 11 goals on 28 shots, Marquette had put 23 of those 28 shots on cage. Penguins goalie Mikaela Staranko was getting a workout in as she would end up finishing the game with 15 saves.

The 10 goal running clock rule would kick in off of Hanna Bodner’s goal at the 7:35 mark of the third quarter as that put Marquette up 14-4. The clock stayed engaged for the rest of the frame, which ended with Garcia scoring with 41 seconds to go for a 16-5 lead. In between quarters, MU head coach Meredith Black swapped out goalie Brynna Nixon for Ava Sprinkel for her collegiate debut. It, uh, did not go particularly well, but Marquette’s lead was never in doubt. YSU would outscore Marquette 6-2 in the fourth quarter as Sprinkel made just one save on seven shots with all seven coming on cage. The regular clock rules kicked back in for good when Ally Garrett scored to make it 17-8, but the closest that the Penguins ever got was 17-10 with 6:49 to go.

Mary Schumar did The Things in this game, finishing up with eight points on a hat trick and a game high five assists. She didn’t lead the team in goals though, that fell to Shea Garcia, who had four strikes on eight shots. Meg Bireley and Hannah Greving both had two goals and two assists to match Garcia in total points on the day. Faith Chmielewski led the field players in ground balls, and she teamed up with Audrey Brett and Sofia Santana to tie for the team lead in caused turnovers with two each.

How about some highlights, courtesy of and Youngstown State Athletics?

Up Next: It’s a two game weekend in Ohio, so the Golden Eagles will be back in action on Sunday with an 11am Central time start against Cincinnati on the other end of the state. ESPN+ will have the streaming broadcast from Nippert Stadium. The Bearcats are 3-0 on the year after beating MAC favorite Robert Morris 24-9 on Friday afternoon.